Wakefield Biodiversity Action Plan

https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Documents/sports-leisure/parks-countryside/biodiversity-action-plan.pdf

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Because I've been looking at it anyway, hereafter referred to as WBAP . . . .

Adherence to Principles
  • Keep It Wild - Yes basically.  There are so many other interacting stakeholders but I think the intention of WBAP is there.
  • Look Up - Yes, it looks up to the July 2012 by the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework (formerly UK BAP).
  • Listen To The People - Unfortunately not, that's where the policy makers fall down.  It will always fall into line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which is biased in favour of always granting "sustainable" development and proposers will always give a nod to "sustainability" in their planning applications for this very purpose.
  • Do No Harm - In terms of it's intention to look after habitats and wildlife then yes I would say it does adhere, but in doing this it will tread on the toes of lots of other groups in disagreement with it's intentions.
  • Think Big - As much as it can when limited to it's geographical area, yes.  Aware of the the bigger picture.
  • Look Forward - With regard to "Climate Change" yes, whole little section on it with predictions of average temperature and summer and winter rainfall to 2080.  One problem, in my opinion, is that maybe it looks forward too much rather than focusing on actions or maintaining the status quo now.  Wildlife needs our help and protection NOW, not in 10 or 20 years' time.

The strategy is based on the protection of priority habitats which will in turn lead to the protection of the wildlife that lives in them  "It is therefore proposed that resources be concentrated on these Priority Habitats wherever possible".

  • Main stakeholders are identified for each priority habitat.
  • Situation Analysis.  This seems to me like a big problem.  I'll be honest, I always assumed that scientists and conservationists know/knew what's out there, but clearly that's not the case.  It looks like the most important thing to do other than not destroying what is there is to survey and map it.  Identified in WBAP strategy is that this is ongoing.
  • Theory of Change.  Yes to a certain extent outcomes to specific groups are identified, though not comprehensive and not quite in the same way.
  • Planning the Work.  It looks like this is partly to be undertaken by a division of Wakefield Council, but mostly "delegated" to unidentified other interested parties and groups.
  • Monitoring Approach.  Rough objectives to be met by March 2023 are there eg for grass snake (of which I have seen 2 this year :) *Comprehensive mapping of distribution and population; and *Improve habitat quality at 10 sites.  I assume it would be up to those carrying out the work to set the specific objectives, tolerances, indicators and methods.

Helen Simms

Conservation Volunteer / PG Student, RSPB, ORCA, MMU

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Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
about 1 year ago

Hello Helen,

Great work here, I like your detailed reflections on the principles. I think they should ask you to write the strategy next time!